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Putt Putt Fun in Augusta, Georgia

On Saturday, we ventured to the Putt-Putt Fun Center for a little family-fun in Augusta. It was a blast! William, 4 years old, really enjoyed himself. I now understand why they call it the Putt Putt Fun Center, because it was more than just Putt Putt. After a rousing 18 holes of miniature golf, we played next in the indoor playplace with the usual slides, rope ladders and tunnels – all air-conditioned. Then it was a break for some pizza and ice-cream. After lunch, we decided to explore the boats! Yes, they have boats. And it does not matter what kind it is – a boat is a big deal to a kid.

But the small addition of a water gun on the dash of the bumper boat – meant it was even more fun. We finished the adventure with 10 tokens in the arcade. It was just the right amount of tokens for a 4 year old. They also had batting cages, but it think we will save that for when William is a little older. All-in-all, it was a great kid-friendly experience that even the adults enjoyed.

Putt-Putt Fun Center
3763 Martinez Blvd.
Martinez, GA 30907
(706) 868-0083

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Saturday 10 am – Midnight
Sunday 11 am – Midnight

Saturday Adventure at Clarks Hill

On Saturday afternoon, Granddaddy called and asked if the boys wanted to go fishing. Of course! From downtown Augusta, it is about a 30-minute ride to the Strom Thurmond Dam boat ramp. Dad loaded up the boys and off they went.

The trip was more about the adventure than anything else. The boat ramp was full after a fishing tournament that morning. There was so much to see! They rode the lake for a while before finding a quiet corner to do some fishing. No one volunteered to touch the fish, but in the end it was a great trip.

Clarks Hill Lake is also called Lake Thurmond. I think it just depends what side of the lake you are from. The Georgia side folks say Clark’s Hill and the South Carolina side says Lake Thurmond.

Thurmond Lake comprises nearly 71,100 acres of water with a shoreline of 1200 miles. The lake is one of the southeast’s largest and most popular public recreation lakes. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1946 and 1954 for flood control and for hydropower. Each year, millions of people utilize the many public parks, marinas, and campgrounds.

For more info on the lake and all its recreation:

http://www.sas.usace.army.mil/lakes/thurmond/

Or stop by their welcome center:
J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake
510 Clarks Hill Highway
Clarks Hill, SC 29821
1-800-533-3478

Swamp Boys

It was a perfect Saturday for a bug hunt. The boys were getting tired of the typical backyard bugs. So we loaded up and in 15 minutes were at the Swamp. Located on 1100 acres and just minutes from downtown Augusta, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park offers visitors the chance to see blue heron, red-shouldered hawk, otter, alligator and the elusive bobcat in their natural settings.

But today we were here in search of the summer dragonflies. With net and hat in place – we were off on the Cattail Trial to search for dragonfly. Once we hit the trail, the bugs were everywhere and the kids could not have been happier. I enjoyed the change in scenery as well.

It is sometimes hard to believe this fantastic preserve is just down the street. As much net swiping was going on, we had not caught anything. No one seemed too upset. We were sitting in the shade in one of the outdoor classrooms when a dragonfly came up to William. He was so excited. It was a beautiful green dragonfly, we had also seen a few blue ones. I was pretty sure this was all about the hunt and not so much about the capture. That was fine with me since at the swamp does not want to you bother any of the creatures at the park anyway. When it came down to it, my bug hunters were only interested in looking at the bugs and not the least bit interested in capturing or touching them.

We also saw lots of beautiful vegetation along the paths – magnolia, some raspberries and other unidentified plants. The trails are really great with lots of information along the way. There are several good spots for picnics. We only explored two trails on this day. There are so many different trials to take. Some are good for bikes, some are good for running and of course some are good for bug safaris with two little boys.

Natural Sciences Academy Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

1858 Lock & Dam Road
Augusta-Richmond County, Ga 30901

Open Dawn to dusk: Every Day Free to public

706-828-2109

www.naturalsciencesacademy.org

Old McDonald had a Fish Camp

My sister was in town from New Jersey this weekend, so I thought I would take her someplace completely different.  Now, remember I am the one with two boys (ages three and five), so it had to be family friendly. The perfect choice was Old MacDonald Fish Camp in Edgefield County, South Carolina. It sounds further away than it actually is—just a 12 mile drive from Augusta.

There is a lot to say about this experience. We went early. It was 5 o’clock on a Saturday and we did not have to wait. But if we had come about ten minutes later, we have had to wait.

Okay – first things first. This is the only restaurant I have ever been to that has a “Grits and Hushpuppy Bar.” Yes – like a salad bar, but just grits and hushpuppies. My sister thought this was amazing. And, really, it is. The grits were also a big hit with the kids.

The menu has all sorts of seafood – fried or broiled. My sister ordered the boiled shrimp. I had the Low Country Boil. I had to explain to my “northerner” sister, that low country boil is boiled shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn. Jacob and I shared. Fantastic!

I also highly recommend the sweet tea. I only have sweet tea on special occasions. And this was one of those times. Our waitress brought over the entire pitcher finally because I just kept sucking it down. It was so tasty and served in a Mason jar. Loved it.

After dinner we did stay and play for a little while. The restaurant is on a pond with a waterwheel. It also has a ducks, goats and chickens for the kids to feed for a nickel.  Very fun. So if you do have to wait – there is really no problem keeping entertained. I am sure some actually might be disappointed if they get seated right away.

So I asked my sister after the big adventure – was this something she could do in New Jersey? She said absolutely not and it was a great experience. I agreed.

Old McDonald Fish Camp
355 Currytown Road
North Augusta, SC 29860
Phone: 803-279-3305

OPEN 5:00 pm Thursday & Friday
OPEN 4:00 PM Saturday

www.oldmcdonaldfishcamp.com

Fresh finds at the Saturday Market

Saturday was a beautiful, warm and sunny day in Augusta. My mom and I decided to take advantage of this weather and visit Augusta’s Saturday Market on the River. The market is located at the Riverwalk entrance on 8th Street at Reynolds Street and is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. from April through October.

The market was filled with people who came out to see dozens of local vendors, farmers and artisans all gathered in one location selling their treasures. All products sold are locally grown or locally made. This is fantastic because I was able to ask the vendors exactly where the fruits and vegetables I was about to buy came from. Can you get this kind of information or freshness at Wal-Mart? I think not. 


I bought several fresh strawberries and peaches, two of my favorites! But the fresh squash and zucchini looked just as delish! My mom bought some red, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes.

There are also vendors selling several different species of plants, annual and perennial flowers, ornamental grasses and shrubs, ferns, vines and even trees. I purchased a couple of trailing Lantanas, which look pretty in my back yard! Knowing absolutely nothing about gardening, I found the people at Griffin’s Nursery very helpful when I asked about caring for my Lantanas.

There are also artisan and artistic vendors. You can find hand-crafted and hand-painted birdhouses, handmade jewelry, hand sewn children’s clothes, accessories and more!

With so much to do and see at the Saturday Market by the River you are bound to work-up an appetite. No worries! Food vendors are there to serve you. You can sample homemade pastries and breads, grilled chicken, boiled or roasted peanuts and even cupcakes! The bacon and spinach quiche I had from Lily’s Bakery was to die for!

We had a great time at Saturday Market by the River and I plan on going each and every Saturday to see what is new. Hope to see you there!

Saturday Market on the River

Riverwalk at 8th Street & Reynolds

http://www.theaugustamarket.com/index.html

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